Ford has started to redesign its factory site in Cologne-Niehl. The new Electrification Center is to be built on the site, where the first electric model produced in Europe by the US carmaker is to roll off the production line in 2023.
First off, a former warehouse was demolished to make way for the new technology required in the new plant, according to Ford. The company timed the demolition of the old building to coincide with the plant holiday and so avoid disrupting logistics during ongoing production. More than 5,000 cubic metres of rubble will have to be removed in the course of the work, according to the carmaker.
A new “high-tech building” for the pre-treatment of body shells will be built on the site of the old warehouse. Ford says the building will be 26 metres high, 25 metres wide and 100 metres long. The carmaker wants to start installing the facility there as early as next year. The first of Ford’s electric models to be produced in Europe is apparently scheduled to roll off the assembly line some time in 2023.
In February, it was announced that the electric car built in Cologne will be based on Volkswagen’s modular electric drive system (MEB). Ford and the German vehicle manufacturer had signed the contracts for their global alliance in the fields of electrification, light commercial vehicles and autonomous driving in June 2020, paving the way for a Ford battery-electric car based on MEB.
Ford is investing around $1 billion to prepare the plant for electric vehicle production, according to information at the time. The production of a second electric model was also being considered. At present, Ford builds the Fiesta in Cologne.